Oral Health 101

Southwestern Public Health’s Oral Health team works to improve the oral health of all Elgin and Oxford County residents by:

  • Providing basic dental care and preventative services (teeth cleaning, scaling, polishing, fluoride, sealants, oral hygiene instruction) to children 17 years under the new Healthy Smiles Ontario program
  • Program planning has begun for the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program which will provide dental care to those who meet eligibility requirements.  Limited information is available at this time but will be updated accordingly. 

Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program

We are excited to keep the community updated as news and program details are available. Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions about the program:

When will the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) begin?

An official launch date for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program is not yet known but is anticipated to being in late fall / early winter of 2019 at Public Health Units, Community Health Centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres.

What are the eligibility criteria to qualify for this program?

Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income less than $19,300 or a couple with a combined annual income less than $32,300 who do not have dental benefits (e.g., through private insurance or other government programs) are anticipated to qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.

How will a senior’s financial eligibility be determined?

Eligibility for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program will be based on a senior’s net income (line 236 from your income tax form). Net income measures the sum of all income potentially subject to tax, including but not limited to employment income, investment income, pension income (including CPP), and government social support payments (e.g., OAS, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Social Assistance) less non-discretionary expenses associated with earning income (e.g., union dues, professional fees) and pension contributions (e.g., RRSP contributions or contributions to a Registered Pension Plan).

How will a low-income senior access the OSDCP? Do they need to sign up or can they just book an appointment?

Applications are not currently available.  Please stay tuned to this website for future updates.

Once the program is launched in later fall 2019, seniors will be able to get an application form online (link will be updated once it is known).  Seniors will also be able to get a paper copy at the two locations at Southwestern Public Health.

A provincial processing centre will handle all of the completed application forms and will verify the applicant’s income. Eligible seniors will receive a dental card confirming their enrolment in the program.

What dental services will be covered under this program?

Dental services covered under this program are still being determined by the Ministry of Health.

We appreciate your patience as we move forward to implement this program. Should you have questions, please contact

Southwestern Public Health, Oral Health Department


extension 1273 St Thomas site

extension 3510 Woodstock site


Dental Clinics

Southwestern Public Health provides free preventive dental hygiene services at 5 clinic locations. We provide you with access to dental screening, dental hygiene treatment, oral hygiene education and possible enrollment into the Healthy Smiles Ontario program offered to those who financially qualify, or those children in need of emergency treatment.

Elgin County Oxford County

Southwestern Public Health St. Thomas Site

1230 Talbot Street, St. Thomas

Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

One evening clinic per month 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

To book an appointment, call 1-800-922-0096

Community Dental Services
93 Graham Street, Woodstock

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

To book an appointment, call 1-800-922-0096

East Elgin Family Health Centre

424 Talbot Street West, Lower Level - Unit #L7C, Aylmer

Wednesdays: 9:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

To book an appointment, call 1-800-922-0096

Mobile Dental Clinic – Tillsonburg Library

164 Broadway Street, Tillsonburg


To book an appointment, call 1-800-922-0096

West Elgin Community Health Centre

153 Main Street, West Lorne

1st Tuesday of each month 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

To book an appointment, call 1-800-922-0096



Dental Care


Dental Health Tips

Taking care of your teeth and mouth is important.  We need a healthy mouth to speak, smile, breathe properly, and eat and drink.  As part of a healthy lifestyle and to help reduce the risk of oral disease, follow these five steps to good oral health:


Last Updated: April 19, 2018